Best Buy plans May launch for video downloads

A Best Buy sign is seen on a store in Alexandria, Virginia, September 15, 2009. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Top electronics chain Best Buy will launch this month its planned online service CinemaNow that allows consumers to buy, rent and download movies and television shows.

The service will help Best Buy compete better with established online media players like Inc, Apple Inc’s iTunes store as well as growing services like Netflix Inc and Wal-Mart’s recently acquired Vudu service.

The new digital video service, based on Sonic Solutions’ Roxio CinemaNow service, would be built into devices sold at its stores, ranging from television sets to Blu-ray disc players. It will also be available on an array of other devices from various manufacturers later this year.

Customers can also access it with their computers through the website (, Best Buy said on Tuesday.

Best Buy, which had announced its deal with Sonic last November, already owns digital music service Napster Inc.

It expects to provide access to thousands of new movies, independent films, and older catalog movies, with some new titles available on the same day as the comparable DVD goes on sale.

Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan, editing by Bernard Orr